November 8, 2018

Nationalism – is the tide turning?

As a rule, I avoid talking about religion and politics. But I must admit, the rising tide of nationalism and polarisation that we have seen spreading across the globe over the past few years has caused me growing concern.

Brexit and the election of Donald Trump on the back of fueling racism have been followed by increased support of right-wing parties across Europe. The Scots, bless them, have realised the folly of this and have been pushing back. I hope they do achieve independence from the UK. They are much nicer.

These developments have been slowly undoing the globalisation that developed over the eighties and nineties. The right wingers seem determined to revert from each country being part of the global village to insular fortresses that must be defended by force. But how long before they think that the fortresses are too small and they need to take over other fortresses?

This polarisation has spilled over into local politics, where we have extremists on both sides actively fomenting racial tension and division.

Hopefully, the results of the US mid-term elections are an indication that the citizens of that country are pushing back against the Trump rhetoric. I also hope that the rest of the world follows suit and eases up on the rabid nationalism rhetoric. If not, I fear that history is set to repeat itself.

I also pray that the moderate voices in our own country, who recognise that as a united people we can work together to address the injustices of the past and build a country where all of its citizens can prosper and live safely side by side, and who I am convinced by far make up majority of South Africans, the will drown out the voices that seek to divide us and destroy each other.

We have lost the spirit of Ubuntu. We need to find it again.

Robin Twaddle
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